Deaths in History on May 23

  • 1125 Henry V, King of Germany (1099-1125) and Holy Roman Emperor (1111-1125), dies of cancer at 38 or 43
  • 1423 Benedict XIII [Pedro the Luna], Spanish Pope (1394-1423), dies
  • 1498 Girolamo Savonarola, Italian Dominican friar who helped expel Medici from Florence and preached against papal corruption, hanged at 45
  • 1523 Ashikaga Yoshitane, 10th Japanese shōgun of the Ashikaga shogunate, dies at 56
  • 1524 Ismail I, Shah of Persia, converted Iran from Sunni to Shi'ah, dies at 36
  • 1568 Adolf van Nassau, German son of William I and Juliana of Stolberg, dies in battle at 27
  • 1627 Luis de Gongora, Spanish poet and writer, dies at 65
  • 1648 Luis de Nain, painter, dies
  • 1662 John Gauden, English bishop and writer (b. 1605)
  • 1668 Philips Wouwerman, Haarlems painter, buried
  • 1670 Ferdinando II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (b. 1610)
  • 1684 Adriaen Backer, Amsterdams painter buried at about 48
  • 1691 Adrien Auzout, French astronomer (b. 1622)

William KiddWilliam Kidd (1645-1701)

Scottish pirate legend, hanged at London's Execution Dock at about 56

  • 1752 William Bradford, English-born printer (Pennsylvania's first printing press), dies at 89
  • 1754 John Wood, architect/town planner, dies
  • 1783 James Otis, American lawyer, dies
  • 1785 William Woollett, engraver, dies
  • 1786 Móric Beňovský, Slovak military officer, explorer and self-declared King of Madagascar, dies of a fatal bullet wound to his chest at 39
  • 1813 Geraud Duroc, French general (b. 1772)
  • 1825 Ras Gugsa of Yejju, Regent of the Emperor of Ethiopia
  • 1838 Jan Willem Janssens, Dutch Governor-General of Cape colony and Dutch-Indies, dies at 75
  • 1841 Franz Xaver von Baader, German philosopher and theologist, dies at 76
  • 1842 Jose de Espronceda y Delgado, Spanish revolutionary/poet, dies at 34
  • 1846 Franciszek Ksawery Drucki-Lubecki, Polish politician (b. 1778)
  • 1851 Lucas Pieter Roodbaard, architect, dies at 69
  • 1855 Charles Robert Malden, British naval officer (discoverer of Malden Island, central Pacific), dies at 57
  • 1857 Augustin Louis Cauchy, French mathematician and physicist, dies at 67
  • 1860 Albert Richard Smith, author/lecturer, dies
  • 1867 Archibald Alison, Scottish historian, dies at 74

Kit CarsonKit Carson (1809-1868)

American frontiersman, Indian fighter and army officer, dies of an aortic aneurysm at 58

  • 1883 Cyprian Norwid, Polish painter, poet and playwright (Wanda), dies at 61

Leopold von RankeLeopold von Ranke (1795-1886)

German historian who founded the modern concept of source-based history, dies at 90

  • 1893 Anton von Schmerling, Austrian statesman, dies at 87
  • 1895 Franz E. Neumann, German mineralogist, mathematician and physicist, dies at 96
  • 1896 Jose Asunción Silva, Colombian poet (Nocturno III), dies at 30
  • 1897 Aleko Konstantinov, Bulgarian writer (To Chicago & Back), dies at 34
  • 1905 Martinus W van AA Meerbeke, head-editor (Time), dies at 75
  • 1905 Mary Ashton Livermore, American social reformer and women's suffrage leader (President of American Woman Suffrage Association 1878-95), dies at 84

Henrik IbsenHenrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

Norwegian playwright (A Doll's House, Peer Gynt), dies at 78

  • 1908 Francois Coppee, French poet, dies
  • 1917 Ranavalona III, Queen of Madagascar (1883-1897) last sovereign of Madagascar, dies in exile in Algeria at 55
  • 1920 Svetozar Boroević, Austro-Hungarian field marshal, dies at 63
  • 1930 R. D. Banerji, Indian archaeologist and historian (discovered ancient Indus city of Mohenjo-daro), dies at 45 [1]

Bonnie ParkerBonnie Parker (1910-1934)

American outlaw of Bonnie and Clyde fame, killed in police ambush in Louisiana at 23

Clyde BarrowClyde Barrow (1909-1934)

American bank robber and outlaw (Bonnie & Clyde), killed in police ambush in Louisiana at 25

John D. RockefellerJohn D. Rockefeller (1839-1937)

American industrialist and founder of Standard Oil, dies at 97

  • 1940 Paul Nizan, French journalist/writer (Ce Soir/Aden Arabia), dies at 35
  • 1941 Herbert Austin, English automobile designer and builder (founder of Austin Motor Company), dies at 74

Heinrich HimmlerHeinrich Himmler (1900-1945)

German Nazi leader (head of the SS), commits suicide while in Allied custody at 44

  • 1947 Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz, Swiss writer (Le Petit Village), dies at 68
  • 1960 Georges Claude, French engineer and inventor (neon light), dies at 89
  • 1965 David Smith, sculptor, dies
  • 1966 Demchugdongrub, Mongolian politician (b. 1902)
  • 1967 Sanne Sannes, photographer, dies at 30
  • 1969 Peter Alma, painter and graphic artist, dies at 83
  • 1975 Jackie "Moms" Mabley, comedienne (Amazing Grace), dies at 81
  • 1979 Hubert van Doorne, auto manufacturer (DAF Trucks), dies at 79
  • 1981 David Lewis, Canadian labour lawyer and politician (b. 1909)
  • 1981 Rayner Heppenstall, English novelist (The Blaze of Noon), dies at 70
  • 1983 Albert Claude, Belgian biologist and physician (Nobel 1974), dies at 84
  • 1989 Georgy Tovstonogov, Russian theatre director (b. 1915)
  • 1991 Jean Van Houtte, Belgian politician (Prime Minister of Belgium, 1952-56; Finance Minister, 1950-52 and 1958-61), dies at 84
  • 1991 Peter Trevenen Thwaites, British Brigadier General and playwright (Love or money), dies at 74
  • 1992 Giovanni Falcone, anti-mafia judge (Palermo), murdered
  • 1994 Carl Althoff, German circus director, dies at 82
  • 1995 Patricia Ford, Lady Fisher, Irish politician and founder (British Women Caring Trust), dies at 74
  • 1996 Kronid Arkadyevich Lyubarsky, human rights activist, dies at 61
  • 1996 Rob Hall, New Zealand high altitude climber, dies of exposure on Mount Everest at 35
  • 1996 Scott Fischer, American high altitude climber, dies of exposure on Mount Everest at 40
  • 1998 Andreas Liebenberg, South African military commander, dies at 60
  • 2004 Ramon Margalef, Spanish scientist (b. 1919)
  • 2005 Roderick Wright, Scottish Bishop of Argyll and the Isles (1990-96), dies at 64
  • 2006 Clifford Antone, American businessman, dies at 56
  • 2006 Frits Bernard, American clinical psychologist and pedophile activist, dies at 85
  • 2006 Lloyd Bentsen, American politician (b. 1921)
  • 2008 David Mitton, British television director (b. 1939)
  • 2009 Roh Moo-hyun, 16th President of the Republic of Korea (b. 1946)
  • 2010 Gane Todorovoski, Macedonian literary critic, poet, & publicist (b. 1929)
  • 2010 Leonida Georgievna, Grand Duchess Of Russia (b. 1914)
  • 2012 Joseph Lesniewski, American Easy Company, soldier in 101st Airborne, dies at 91
  • 2012 Paul Fussell, American historian, dies from natural causes at 88
  • 2014 Mona Freeman, American actress, dies at 87
  • 2017 Alexander Burdonsky, Russian theater director and Joseph Stalin's grandson, dies at 75
  • 2018 Homer Neal, African-American particle physicist, dies of a stroke at 75
  • 2020 Saturn, American-born alligator that escaped Berlin Zoo during WWII, dies at about 84 in Moscow Zoo (Moscow, Russia)

Eric CarleEric Carle (1929-2021)

American illustrator, collage artist, and writer of children's books (The Very Hungry Caterpillar), dies of kidney failure at 91